Yesterday I received my first Christmas card of 2020. Is this a record?
My friend Avril passed me the red envelope across
the table when we met for lunch and suggested I shouldn’t open it straightaway. Our mutual friend, Sheila, who was lunching out with us, was also gifted a card, hers being in a white envelope. We were both grateful and amazed.
Avril explained that not only has she made, written and addressed all her Christmas cards, but she has also made her Christmas puddings, her festive cake and several jars of mincemeat (mince pies for
the making of.) Really I should introduce her to the Twins, Tala and Lilia, who have been obsessed with Christmas since the end of August. They would heartily approve of April’s state of preparedness. To be fair, I probably won’t introduce them,
because I wouldn’t want to be found wanting by comparison...
I’m finding it hard to get motivated by the approach of Christmas which is very
unlike me. Usually by now I would have booked nine tickets for a Jolly Girls and Boys Outing to an appropriately jolly show at a London theatre. As well as the promise of a Great and Jolly Day Out, this releases me from the worry of finding nine Christmas
presents. Which is a lot, by anybody’s Christmas Gift List. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters suggests I am worrying too much - all I need to do is to present (excusing the pun) each of them with an IOUAJO. She has a point (she usually does, I find.)
When Our Foursome were littl’uns we always made the Christmas pudding over the October half term holiday. My Little Stirrers were always well up for it. Let’s
not dwell on the fact that by the time Christmas came round and the pudding was resurrected from storage, I always had to scrape mould off the top of the pud before cooking it. Such a pain it was, while everyone else was having a fine old time opening presents,
having to nip into the kitchen every quarter of an hour to check that the pudding wasn’t boiling dry. These days I see a microwaveable pudding as an extra Christmas present.
Just thinking about Avril’s mincemeat - I always spent Christmas Eve making mince pies and sausage rolls, mostly for the festive smell as they cooked. I remember the year the Middle of the Darling Daughters was born - she was one month old that
Christmas Eve - and I was in the tiny kitchen in our flat, rolling pastry for the sausage rolls while the smell of the mince pies baking in the oven wafted round the living room. In the background, on the TV, the film of “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”
was playing telling the story of brave Gladys Aylward. In came Mr B, all excited, dragging me outside to see the snow flakes falling outside. It was sheer magic.
Okay, maybe if I keep reminiscing I will eventually regain my customary Christmas spirit in time for thr festive season. The Twins will be most relieved. In the meantime, I am worrying about Christmas cards. Since Lockdown in March, I have been making
my own greetings cards for family and friends on my extensive Birthday and Anniversary List. I have really enjoyed making them and they seem to have been well received by their recipients. Should I now be emulating Avril and making Christmas cards? It is true
that I do send an awful lot of cards every year - would it even be practically possible?
I consult Avril - who tells me that she starts making her Christmas
cards in January every year. I am a whole ten months behind her.
If I start now, maybe I will have Christmas 2021 sorted...